Coffee, whiskey and drag: The Drink offers Rye students cheap drinks and a good time

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By Kieona George

Coffee shop by day, drag bar by night: with its multiple personas, The Drink offers Ryerson students, especially those in the LGBTQ community, a place to unwind and party, all in the same space. 

Located in Toronto’s Gay Village at 459 Church street, above Kintaro, The Drink is a place for students to hangout with coffee and treats like carrot cake that’s “to die for” during the day. At night, it turns into a drag bar with onstage performances, affordable drinks and pub food. 

“Having fun is our priority and creating a safe space for everybody is welcoming people to our village,” said owner Jimmy Georgoulis, who also owns the Irish pub, O’Grady’s, and the event bar above it called The Lodge. 

Ryerson students receive 10 per cent off on all food at The Drink, O’Grady’s and The Lodge. 

Students having a safe space is important to Georgoulis. Georgoulis said he wishes he was more empowered to be a part of the LGBTQ community when he was a student. 

Georgoulis has been a part of Toronto’s Gay Village for 25 years and made his establishments to be safe spaces for the LGBTQ community. “My bars are reflections of me and my personality and places that I like to frequent.” 

Georgoulis said he employs a lot of LGBTQ staff, DJs, drag queens and performers. “We are locally owned and locally friendly,” said Georgoulis. “When you go to The Drink, The Lodge [or] O’Grady’s, money stays in the community.”

The Drink opened two years ago. It got its name because “everybody goes for a drink and whether it be alcoholic or non-alcoholic or a hot coffee or a mimosa, we have it all.”

Students can do schoolwork at The Drink during the day. There is free Wi-Fi, tables and outlets.“I mean Starbucks and Second Cup and all those coffee shops are just jammed,” said Georgoulis. 

Students who want to perform drag in The Drink’s shows can inquire through its Facebook at The Drink Coffee Whiskey Social. 

The Drink caters to students seven days a week with affordable food and drinks, said Georgoulis. This makes it the perfect spot for students.

Mondays

You might hate Mondays, but you won’t at The Drink, because from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., mixed drinks are $2.50. The good time goes past five with The Drink Twinks Drag Show from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., when mixed drinks are $3.50. 

Tuesdays

Attendance won’t cost you a toonie because there’s never a cover charge at The Drink. There’s a drag battle hosted by drag queen Ivory Towers.

Wednesdays

Make it over the hump day of the week with the Scarlett Bobo drag show on Wednesdays.

Thursdays

Even though Thursdays mean it’s almost Friday, that’s not the best part of this weekday night. Thursday is pub night for college and university students. Mixed drinks are $5. From 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. drag troupes from different colleges and universities perform onstage. 

Fridays & Saturdays

It’s the end of the week! You can visit The Drink for DJs, dancing and drag until late in the night.

Sundays

Brunch at The Drink is not going to cost you $40 for a glass of juice and eggs, like most other brunch places in Toronto. For $20, The Drink offers an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet with $4 mimosas.

And if you want to have a good time on Sunday before the start of another week, you can join “Drag-oake.” Drag and karoake are combined for people to sing, do drag and “be whoever they want to be,” said Georgoulis. 

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